Operation Christmas Child

by Katie McGraw on November 19, 2013 at 7:12 am

It’s National Collection Week for the international program, "Operation Christmas Child" through Samaritan’s Purse.

The worldwide initiative started 23 years ago, in order to help provide gifts to children in 150 countries, who really need them.

"People get very, very inventive,” said Area Coordinator for East Central Ohio, Eileen Sagraves. “You can put your mind into the mind of a child who has never had a gift. I mean I’m saying never had a gift. They love toothbrushes, and toothpaste and wash clothes and soap, the number one item that the kids like to see in there is a little stuffed animal."

Coburn United Methodist Church is the central location for six area counties including Muskingum, Perry, Guernsey, Washington, Morgan, and Noble. All you have to do is grab a shoe box and choose a gender and one of three age groups.

"Fill it with all the goodies, for the children,” explained Kathy Zimmerman. “Then you bring them back here and we collect them, we put them in big cartons and they are sent to Boone, North Carolina and it’s really an easy process, and you get your grand-kids or kids involved, have a good time."

This year, the boxes will most likely be sent to the Philippines, after the destruction the country saw following a devastating typhoon. Items that should not be included are anything used or damaged, war related items such as toy guns, knives, or food and liquids such as lotions. For more information, including which area churches you can retrieve a shoebox to fill or to drop one off, you can visit www.samaritanspurse.org.